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NASCAR compelling because of “wonderful stories,” says NBC Sports’ chairman

Jul 23, 2013, 8:00 PM EDT

Phoenix Getty Images

Mentioning the sport’s historic rivalries, the different generations that have raced in it, and how every track is unique, NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus feels that NASCAR – which he considers a “tent pole property” for both NBC and the NBC Sports Network – will be a great fit with his company’s signature style of sports coverage.

“The mantra that we live by is two things: One, we want to tell great stories, and NASCAR, what makes it so compelling is there are wonderful stories,” Lazarus said in a conference call with reporters following today’s announcement of NASCAR’s return to NBC.

“…We believe that we take the time to develop those stories, develop the personality, make sure fans know the rivalries and why they should care about them, and that’s what we spend our time doing in all sports, and we think that NASCAR suits that production value very well.”

Lazarus indicated that NBC will use many avenues of content and promotion in order to expose NASCAR to a bigger audience. For a sport that, while still relatively popular, has also cooled off noticeably since its explosive run into the mainstream a decade ago, that has to be good to hear.

“What we have found and what we have learned and what I think we’ve demonstrated over the past several years is that when we’re able to have a property…And we’re able to bring an audience and surround it with content, both on broadcast, on cable, in digital by promoting and marketing using our [regional sports networks], that we’re able to bring a level of awareness to a sport, to a property that is equal to or unparalleled in the industry, and that’s what we intend to do with NASCAR.

“By having this mix, what we always do is make big events bigger, and that’s what we’ll do each Saturday and Sunday from July on, starting in 2015.”

For the full transcript from today’s conference call, you can click here or visit the NBC Sports Group Pressbox website.

  1. pitpenguinsrulez - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    I’m happy to see it go to NBC but it just won’t be the same without Benny Parsons calling the race

  2. mightyquinn29 - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    Nascar is ok, it is how I was introduced to racing after all. These days it’s my least favorite form of motorsport but I still watch it now and then, mostly because its on all the time. I like nbc’s racing work so far, so I was kinda hoping they would pick up the new sports car series. Defineatly makes you wonder what will happen with the new sports car series, tv-wise.

  3. bmcgrath2 - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    I know this is an NBC website, but I was a little skeptical of this NBC NASCAR deal at first, mainly because 13 Cup races will be on NBCSN. But after I read that they bid about 50% more than ESPN/ABC for the broadcasting rights, I am pumped that someone is going hard for NASCAR coverage and is enthusiastic about it. NBC will only benefit for adding NASCAR to their IRL and sports car coverage.

    If only BP were here with us!!!

    • lesovuls - Jul 30, 2013 at 12:52 AM

      WTH is IRL?

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